This American Life Breaks Up with PRI

PRI has distributed the show since 1997

Friday, Mar 21, 2014  |  Updated 10:39 AM CDT
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Ira Glass Chats About Working in Radio and the Silver Screen

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PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 18: Host/executive producer Ira Glass of "This American Life" speaks during the 2007 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour for CBS at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel on January 18, 2007 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

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Ira Glass Chats About Working in Radio and the Silver Screen

Ira Glass talks about his NPR show "This American Life," and producing the movie "Sleepwalk with Me."
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The much beloved WBEZ radio program, This American Life, is ending a 17-year partnership with Public Radio International. 

PRI has distributed the show since 1997 and helped Ira and the crew get on 587 public radio stations across the country.

But PRI is moving in a different direction than TAL and the two have decided to part ways. 

A blog post on This American Life's site says that the show will go on, but they don't make clear who their new distributor will be.  

We’re leaving our distributor Public Radio International. What this means for listeners is ... nothing! We’ll continue to make our radio show and podcast. The same public radio stations will continue to broadcast it. They just won’t be getting it through PRI.

PRI has been a great partner. When we signed up with them in 1997, we were already on over a hundred public radio stations. It’d taken us a year to get that many. In three months, PRI doubled the number. A miracle. Over the years since, they built that number to 587 stations.

But looking at where PRI is now pushing its business and where we're growing – especially on the digital side of things, which we’ve always done without PRI – both we and our colleagues at PRI came to the same conclusion: to go our separate ways.

Most listeners I meet seem utterly unaware of who our distributor is, or they think – mistakenly – that we’re part of NPR. NPR is the company that puts out Morning Edition and All Things Considered and many fine programs. But there are several other companies that distribute public radio shows around the country. Local public radio stations get shows from all of them.

We’ll announce sometime soon what our new plan is to distribute the show to radio stations.

So, stay tuned to find out who's distributing This American Life in the future. 

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